Here at #RWChat we’re all about hearing other people’s stories, so we’ve invited LaQuette to tell us why having a writing community is so essential.
As a writer I require solitude in order to write. Whether that solitude comes from locking myself into my office, or sitting on the couch with my ear buds in and music blasting as my kids play on the living room floor, it doesn’t matter. If I’m going to write, I have to hear my own thoughts to create.
Yes, I need solitude. However, I cannot be continuously alone and successfully tap into my creativity. What’s the difference? Solitude is taking a few moments without distraction to focus on my internal thoughts. Once my work for the day is done, then my need for solitude is completed as well. However, being alone means to have no one, at all, ever. This state of being perpetually alone can be unhealthy for the writer’s mind as well as career. If you’re going to succeed as an author, you’ve got to have a community, a tribe of your own.
There are several benefits to having a positive writing community. Firstly, connecting with others with whom you share common interests helps you feel like you’re not the only crazy one in the bunch. Let’s face it, as writers, sometimes we think up some crazy things that most people don’t entertain in their heads at all. Being the only one jumping down the rabbit hole can make you feel as if you’re losing your sanity. Having a writing community can show you you’re not as strange as you thought you were.
Secondly, connecting with other writers can help improve your business. Whether that means networking with the right crowds to benefit your writing career, or having trusted colleagues to help you hone your craft, you need others to help you grow.
Thirdly, having a community of reader/writer friends can help you understand when you’re being an idiot. We all have our moments. Those times when our immaturity, ignorance and stubbornness makes us want to do something reckless and or insensitive. Your writing community can help you pull the reigns on your petulance, keeping your professionalism and ego in check.
There are two final reasons you should find yourself a positive writing community. Connecting with your writing community can be immensely fun and inspiring. Fun is the reason we are writers. We love it (if you’re writing and you don’t love it, then you need to seriously reevaluate your career choices), so just imagine how much fun it is to connect with others who share the same love. Sometimes, when the words are getting monotonous or just don’t come at all, a quick laugh with my writer buddies can help me unlock a story problem. If I’m feeling not-so-great about my work, a chat with a reader can remind me why I love what I do, and my purpose for repeatedly putting myself through the same torture over and over again.
Ultimately, having a positive writing community—one that inspires, corrects, encourages, and supports you—is necessary to thrive as a writer. I have various communities or what I fondly refer to as my cliques, throughout the writing world. Whether it’s the members of my local RWANYC chapter, or my people in my weekly #RWChat on Twitter, or friends I interact with on Facebook, my cliques have my back and I have theirs. Together, we can move mountains and take this writing world by storm.
This bestselling Erotic Romance Author is the 2016 Author of the Year Golden Apple Award Winner, 2015 Swirl Awards Bronze Winner in Romantic Suspense, and 2015 Georgia Romance Writers Maggie Award Finalist in Erotic Romance. LaQuette—a native of Brooklyn, New York—spends her time catering to her three distinct personalities: Wife, Mother, and Educator.
Writing—her escape from everyday madness—has always been a friend and comforter. She loves writing and devouring romance novels. Although she possesses a graduate degree in English Lit, she’d forego Shakespeare any day to read something hot, lusty, and romantic.
She loves hearing from readers and discussing the crazy characters that are running around in her head causing so much trouble. Contact her on Facebook, Twitter, her website, NovelsbyLaQuette.com, Amazon, Instagram, Goodreads, her Facebook group, LaQuette’s Lounge, and via email at LaQuette@NovelsbyLaQuette.com.